How to Choose the Right Words For More Colorful Writing

Putting together sentences and paragraphs is one thing. Knowing which words help you craft more colorful lines and stronger arguments is a whole other skill. Sometimes, your English writing software can help you make that choice; mostly, though, you will have to choose your own words thoughtfully.

There are many ways to choose the right words for the job. The one guideline you should always keep in mind, though, is to recognize general language and replace them with more specific words. While it's not probably not a good idea to do this for every instance, using specific terms in majority of your piece should lead to both a clearer and livelier writing style.

Specific verbs. You've probably learned about passive verbs already. Focusing on "being" rather than "doing," they lack the action that can potentially make your constructions sound more vibrant. As always, look towards choosing active verbs, instead of passive if you'd like your sentences to sound clearer and more alive.

Apart from these, look for ways you can make your use of verbs more specific. Instead of saying a teacher "taught a class," for instance, you can say the same person "discussed the principles behind 80s-era Russia's foreign policies."

Specific adjectives and adverbs. Probabilistic adjectives, ones whose actual meanings denote several specific possibilities, are the biggest transgressors here. Descriptors such as "many," "common" and "possible" are examples of these general modifiers, all of which can actually cause more confusion than clarity, which is what adjectives and adverbs are supposed to do in the first place.

Specific nouns. Many writers who watch out for the general use of verbs and modifiers do tend to overlook the same problem with their use of nouns. This happens frequently, especially when referring to groups of people or things. Avoid using vague nouns like "someone" and "persons," as well as pronouns like "this," "that" and "they."

Source by Jane Sumerset

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